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Step Into Your Greatness


I’m not a humble person.

The word humble actually makes me a little sick.

Let’s look at the dictionary definition of humble:

  1. Marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful.
  2. Showing deferential or submissive impact.
  3. Low in rank, quality, or station; unpretentious or lowly.

Why on earth would you value being low in rank or quality? Do you want people to know you as the lowly life coach or the lowly marketing consultant?

Seriously, tell me… how is being humble working out for you in your business?

A theme that comes up regularly in my coaching practice are clients not stepping into their greatness because someone once told them they were supposed to be humble. Often times these are successful, knowledgeable, relatively confident people, but for some reason they aren’t asking for the money that they are worth or they find it difficult to sell their products or services.

Try writing sales copy or asking for a referral while also trying to be modest, lowly, and submissive. It just doesn’t work.

No, I don’t consider myself humble. The word makes me cringe.

At the same time though, I’m not arrogant.

Let’s look at the dictionary definition for arrogant:

  1. Having or displaying a sense of overbearing self-worth or self-importance.
  2. Marked by or arising from a feeling or assumption of one’s superiority toward others.

Everyone is a human equal in my book. If you’ve met me in person, you know this is how I interact with every single human being who I have the privilege of coming into contact with. Whether it’s the person speaking to a group of ten thousand or the person cleaning up the trash afterwards, I acknowledge them equally with a smile and a thank you.

While I’m not arrogant, I own the fact that I’m a brilliant coach in high demand. I own the fact that I directly helped hundreds of people have better lives last year. And I own the fact that I am someone of great value who deserves the best. Those are just the facts.

At the same time, I’m clearly not the best coach in the world. I’m FAR from perfect. And I fail on a daily basis. If I said otherwise, I’d be lying to you.

And I’d be arrogant.

The way I see it, when you’re arrogant you’re lying to the world. You’re exaggerating how great you are and you are coming from a position of bragging to hide your own lack of self worth. Everyone knows you’re full of it.

On the other hand (and equally as damaging) when you’re humble you’re also lying to the world. You’re being an impostor. You’re pretending that you’re not great, when you really are. And you’re hiding your gifts to those who need it most.

Psst… I have a secret for you. Actually, it’s not really a secret. It’s just the truth…

You are an amazing person who has valuable gifts to share.

Think of all that you’ve accomplished. Think of all the challenges that you’ve faced to even be sitting here reading this right now. And think of the many, many times when you succeeded in life.

Whether you’re a stay at home mom, author, mechanic, or life coach, your life is an impressive body of work.

Why are you letting others with less skills get promoted before you? Why aren’t you telling your friend about your products and services when they clearly could benefit from them? And why do you keep telling yourself that she’s out of your league?

What you do and who you are is very valuable and you make the world a better place one way or another. You’re the best damn person in the world at ____________. Own that shit.

I invite you to step into your greatness. Leave a comment below telling the world why you’re great. And don’t be shy.

  • Sarah Goshman

    I’m starting to realize it doesn’t matter if you’re the best [whatever]… you’re still the best for somebody.

    I’m great at being a connector – meeting amazing people and helping connect them with one another to do things that are greater than what anyone could do alone 🙂

    And throwing this quote in because I just heard it the other day and I love it, and this post made me think of it: “Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.”

    • Mike Hrostoski

      From one connector to another, that’s some powerful stuff you have. Just spent part of last night with Dan and Nicky talking about the power of bringing people together. The benefits just continue to compound over time.

  • Matthew G. Bailey

    Great post Mike. and Good Quote Sarah.

    It’s funny how people begin to use words without realizing their true definition. I’m as guilty of this as anyone. As a Canadian, people have always used the word “humble” describing “us” as a whole. It was always mentioned as a good thing but by definition as you mention, it’s actually pretty horrible.

    Fuck modesty. And I for one would never want anyone to claim they are Low in rank, quality, or station; unpretentious or lowly.

    I’m great at pushing my limits and challenging myself to go “farther” on a regular basis. I came from a very average life and once I started to think like this, life changed dramatically. I never would of thought I would have experienced so much by now…and to think there is so much more to come…. is we’ll, EXCITING!

    • Mike Hrostoski

      And you’re the sole reason why I had one of my peak life experiences that I call power from when I need courage or confidence. My Facebook cover photo wouldn’t exist if you didn’t make that day happen. Thanks for being great.

  • Cristin Laccabue

    Mike! You rock…I have really enjoyed getting to know you through your posts and travels! I love that you are teaching us to step into our greatness, by showing us your ability to step into your greatness. You are generating courage in all of us by just BEING YOU! I want to let the world know that I am great because I am ALLOWING my path as an “energy shifting specialist” unfold naturally. That is to say, I know I was put here to help people remember what they already know in order to shift there energy to a better place FOR THEM.

    • Mike Hrostoski

      Yes, most of our work is helping people UNlearn and get back to what they already know.

    • Katie Bagby

      As someone who has personally experienced energy shifting with you, Cristin, I say, “Hear! Hear!” xo

  • Max Mendoza

    Wow Mike. Words of truth always make the greatest impact to where it matters most – inside of us. And this truth you shared is echoing inside of my at this very moment right now. Thank you for stepping in to your greatness so that you could step out to express this greatness with us!

    Now, as for my greatness. Well first I’m glad our last coaching session allowed us to explore this exact conversation & what came through from it. To be less ‘humble’ though I will also share some of what I KNOW to be my greatness here publicly..

    I, Max Mendoza, am great because I express true passion & love with life daily. With anyone I share with, any moment I experience, or anything I am co-creating – I do it confidently & joyfully! I know that I am the best person in the world at creating communities of authenticity & powerful positivity. I am abundant, my greatness is abundant & thus my value is abundant!

    And for this I am graciously (rather than humbly) grateful =)

    • Mike Hrostoski

      Wooo! Preach! 🙂

  • Eve

    Your post provoked the Gen X in me to come out – nice job.

    Humility is essential to being a great leader. The best “Level 5” leaders possess great humility and lead their companies to exceptional levels. Humility is undervalued by our modern world and a culture that loves to consume, gameify, and feel better about itself.

    It takes a lot of courage to be a difference maker by staying in the background. The front man gets the glory and attention yet there are many others that hold him up … and that gave him the boost that got him there.

    I agree that we all have the potential for greatness. The catch that you forgot to mention is the 10,000 hour rule. Greatness is hard and takes an enormous amount of work. Sure; each one of us can step into it… with the proper amount of energy, determination, and commitment.

    For those not as industrious (or for those that spend time, attention, and energy fighting much larger battles) I believe it is perfectly acceptable to be good.

    • Mike Hrostoski

      Thanks for eloquently stating the other side of the argument. 🙂

      I agree to an extent on the Good To Great Jim Collins stuff. The “Level 5” leader has a much lower chance of running a business into the ground due to their ego.

      Why believe that you’re just good though?

      Say the following sentences to yourself with your eyes closed:
      1. I’m pretty good.
      2. I’m fucking great!

      Feel the shift in energy. Why would you NOT want to feel that way throughout your day? Why would you NOT take that energy to your next sales call, first date, or public speaking engagement?

      Our beliefs are like overcoats that we can wear throughout the day. I choose to wear the overcoats that make me feel alive, full of energy, and joyful.

  • Kenneth Jones

    Great post Mike – as usual. Thanks for bringing the greatness out of us all!

  • Rosenthalsm

    Great words, keep it up!

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